On the syntax of the negative marker mei6 in Cantonese

Abstract 摘要

Syntactic properties of the negative marker mei6 in the preverbal and sentence-final positions in Cantonese are examined in this paper. It is argued that the preverbal mei6 is the head of NegP in the lexical layer while the sentence-final mei6 is a sentence-final particle of the temporal type in the head of TP that belongs to the inflectional layer, forming VP-Neg questions. A number of empirical facts, such as matching restrictions on the predicate, coexistence with the sentence-final particles of the temporal type, occurrence in embedded clauses, and distribution of the adverb zung6 ‘still’, can be explained under the base-generation approach to the derivation of the VP-Neg questions.


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